Kenya Unveils Marathon Team for Paris 2024 Olympics

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Olympic Marathon champions Eliud Kipchoge and Peres Jepchirchir headline the final Kenyan men’s and women’s marathon teams for this year’s Summer Games in the French capital in July and August.

In the men’s team, two-time Olympic marathon champion Kipchoge will lead alongside Tokyo Marathon champion Benson Kipruto and newly-crowned London Marathon champion Alexander Munyao Mutiso, with Timothy Kiplagat named as a reserve.

The women’s category features defending champion Peres Jepchirchir, Olympic silver medalist Brigid Kosgei, and Boston Marathon champion Hellen Obiri, with Sharon Lokedi named as a reserve.

Notably, Vincent Ngetich, Rosemary Wanjiru, and the 2019 world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich have been dropped from the team.

Expressing his gratitude, Kipchoge stated his enthusiasm for representing Kenya again as he sets his sights on making history by securing a third title.

“I’m proud to have been selected to represent my country once again and as we start preparations for the games, the main thing is to be in good shape and run as team Kenya because that is not just a major marathon, but a championship that will bring glory to our country,” Kipchoge said on Wednesday after the team was named.

“Kenya stands a chance to sweep all the medals”

Speaking from Eldoret, the Marathon legend emphasized that with proper preparations, Kenya stands a chance to sweep all the medals.

“Sports is a profession and we need to show the upcoming generation that longevity is the key to a good running career. I’m just trying to show the youths that with discipline and good training, one can sustain his or her career for many years,” added Kipchoge.

The athlete clinched his first Olympic marathon gold at the 2016 Rio Games in Brazil with a time of two hours, eight minutes, and 44 seconds. He defended his title at the Tokyo Games in 2021, clocking 2:08:38 in the race held in Sapporo.

Meanwhile, Jepchirchir, aiming for a second Olympic crown, acknowledged the challenge of competing at the event where every athlete will be in top shape vying for podium positions.

“I believe in teamwork and as we prepare for the games, we hope to be in good health and train hard ahead of the assignment. Individually, I’m glad once again that I will be flying Kenya’s flag high and my target is to defend my title. I have already started training because there is no time to celebrate,” she said.

Handing over the team to the National Olympics Committee of Kenya (NOC-K), Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei noted the difficulty in selecting the final team.

NOC-K President Paul Tergat expressed confidence in the selected team, stating that Kenyans should anticipate a strong performance at the Olympic Games.

The selection process for the men’s team was further impacted by the tragic death of 24-year-old Kelvin Kiptum, who lost his life in a car crash this February.

Kiptum had recently set the world record in the marathon (2:00:35) at the Chicago Marathon last October and was widely regarded as the next generational talent in marathon running.

Here’s a summary of the Kenyan Olympic marathon teams along with the athletes’ personal bests:

Kenya Women’s Olympic Marathon Team:

  1. Peres Jepchirchir – Personal Best: 2:16:16 (London 2024)
  2. Brigid Kosgei – Personal Best: 2:14:04 (Chicago 2019)
  3. Hellen Obiri – Personal Best: 2:25:49 (New York City 2022) Alternate: Sharon Lokedi – Personal Best: 2:23:23 (New York City 2022)

Kenya Men’s Olympic Marathon Team:

  1. Eliud Kipchoge – Personal Best: 2:01:09 (Berlin 2022)
  2. Benson Kipruto – Personal Best: 2:02:16 (Tokyo 2024)
  3. Alexander Munyao – Personal Best: 2:03:11 (Valencia 2023) Alternate: Timothy Kiplagat – Personal Best: 2:02:55 (Tokyo 2024)

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